Holy week is now upon us. This is one of my favorite times of the church, when we are asked to share in Christ’s love, joy, and sorrow. Jesus comes to us humbly on a donkey. You’ll see above and below, that CHN (my parish) starts it’s service outdoors with shouts of Hosanna! noise makers and the waving of Palms.
It’s a service that begins with joy and transitions right into the Passion story as the shouts change from Hosanna! to Crucify Him! We had a guest preacher, The Reverend Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows from the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, who gave us a lovely homily. Thank You.
Jesus comes to us on a donkey. A humble animal, a working animal. No one would call it magnificent or striking. It’s a donkey. An animal that carries heavy loads or gives rides to children, certainly not an animal any king would ride. What do we learn here? What to we see here? Is it significant? I think so. Jesus is preparing to do his final work, the work he was sent here on earth to do. To carry our very heavy loads. Paraphrased, to carry our very heavy burdens. This final work, so we can be free of them, our burdens, our heavy loads and we can experience joy and be filled with the light of Christ at Easter.
Yesterday was Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday. One might say our sermon had the title, Stinky Feet. Another reminder of Christ’s becoming a servant for us, that he brings himself to the ground to wash our feet. I’ll be honest and say, I don’t usually partake in the washing of feet. I’m usually singing in the choir as people receive this beautiful gift. But as many of you know who have read this blog, it has been a challenging Lent for many at my parish. The love and the humble service from my sisters and brothers at CHN has so moved me, so humbled me, that I felt I must take part. I had to take the time with tear filled eyes, to take part, because I am a part of this community filled with so much hope, love, and compassion…and always the strength to overcome. Strength that comes to us from knowing, that God is with us and God will take care of us. God is showing us lessons of faith, experienced through the tangible, our life’s realities. What a gift to know and experience this kind of Love.